For the Kansas City Chiefs' back-up quarterback Matt Moore, his career as a professional football player in the NFL was dwindling before the 2019 season. "I didn't think it was going to happen," Moore told the Kansas City Star. "I thought that was over."
But in the first half of a game against the Denver Broncos on Oct. 17, Moore replaced current NFL MVP and Chiefs' starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes after the 24-year-old injured his knee.
It was a moment not even Moore could have predicted. Only two months prior, before the season began, the 35-year-old had a different job entirely: He was a high school football coach.
"I was out running around with the kids and it was good," Moore said during a pre-season press conference. "But Coach (Andy) Reid gave me the call and I'm excited to be here."
During the 2018 season, when Mahomes's career was escalating as he led the Chiefs toward Super Bowl contention, Moore wasn't playing professional football at all. The Oregon State graduate, currently in his 12th season in the NFL, had previously played for the Miami Dolphins, but he was sidelined in 2018 after being denied a spot on any NFL team.
When he got the call from Reid asking him to join the Chiefs as an alternate, Moore had just spent his first week as an assistant football coach at Hart High School in California.
"I really didn't expect a call," Moore told reporters in August. "There are some thoughts that this may never happen and when it happens you're like, 'Hey, let's go.' It's that simple."
Reid's call almost didn't happen, either. Moore was offered the backup quarterback job after it was originally given to Chad Henne, who fractured his ankle during a preseason game.
Hart High School's coach, Mike Herrington, told the Los Angeles Times that Moore is welcome back anytime, although he hopes he doesn't return this season.
Moore's new gig as a backup quarterback comes with a one-year contract of $1.03 million, according to Spotrac.
He's not the only NFL player known to start a career outside professional football.
New York Jets linebacker Brandon Copeland interned at the investment bank UBS and taught a financial literacy seminar at The Wharton School. Willie Thomas, a former defensive back who played with the Seattle Seahawks, pivoted his career after he retired and now serves as a managing director and market executive for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.
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